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May 28, 1987

ROBOTS BELIEVE IN BUILT-IN OBSELESCENCE

By CBR Staff Writer

Japanese consumer electronics and precision engineering products are wonderful – until they go wrong, whereupon you find that they are put together in such a way that they are impossible to open without tearing them apart and you have to pay almost as much as the thing originally cost to get it fixed – and it may well have to go back two or three times before it is right: the explanation, revealed in the Wall Street Journal is that the things were designed to be manufactured and assembled by robots, not by people – but there’s no mileage in programming a robot to repair the things it made, you’re meant to throw the toy away and buy another.

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